Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Graphics Operating Systems Software BSD

Accelerated nVidia Drivers for FreeBSD 293

zero0w writes "nVidia has released the official OpenGL accelerated driver set for FreeBSD 4.7 STABLE. Check out the nVidia Driver page for more detail. According to the page, this release should be considered as initial beta. So don't count on it to build a day-to-day production system, yet."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Accelerated nVidia Drivers for FreeBSD

Comments Filter:
  • FreeBSD != Linux (Score:5, Insightful)

    by OrangeSpyderMan ( 589635 ) on Friday November 08, 2002 @09:09AM (#4624403)
    The nvidia page is fairly annoying on this point - the direct link to the drivers is under a subtitle "For Linux Users", and on the installation instructions we can read, "Please note that the NVIDIA driver set requires XFree version 4.2 or greater. If this is not available on your linux distribution,"

    A shame to muddy a laudible effort such as BSD drivers with a couple of dumb (lazy?) errors. I can appreciate that much of the info may be common to both, but to explicitly ignore the fundamental differences is a bit of a shame.
  • by jpmahala ( 181937 ) on Friday November 08, 2002 @09:15AM (#4624429)
    From their site:

    NOTE: GeForce2 Go and GeForce4 Go mobile processors are not supported in this driver. Please contact the notebook's manufacturer for graphics drivers for your notebook PC.

    Sucks for my Dell Inspiron 8100. Anyone know if there is any way to set up drivers for the GeForce2Go?
  • by Darren Winsper ( 136155 ) on Friday November 08, 2002 @09:34AM (#4624515)
    Not exactly. Their kernel module contains a very large binary and some code to act as an interface between the kernel and the big binary file. This allows them to keep the source closed while allowing people to compile it for newer kernels as they come out.
  • by jregel ( 39009 ) on Friday November 08, 2002 @09:49AM (#4624585) Homepage
    Although it's nice to think that Nvidia are porting their drivers to FreeBSD because they are keen on supporting open solutions, the number of users is [relatively] tiny, and I don't find it particularly convincing.

    What is more interesting is the possibility that Nvidia are contracted to develop drivers for a company that is developing a product that will run a BSD variant. What better way for Nvidia to test their new drivers than allow a public beta.

    Pure speculation though, we'll have to wait to see whether anything comes of this.
  • Re:Why (Score:5, Insightful)

    by daoine_sidhe ( 619572 ) on Friday November 08, 2002 @09:52AM (#4624605)
    I have been a linux user for 3 years, and I decided to try FreeBSD 4.7. I found it much quicker and more stable; kernel compilation was ridiculously easy and fast, and accelerated opengl was one of my only issues with it. That has been taken care of now, so I can honestly say that my impression of FreeBSD is a _very_ good one. I don't hate linux; I still run Gentoo. I'm just tired of bloated, unstable distributions, and the only ones that have approached the performance and stability I've seen in FreeBSD are Gentoo and Debian. Now, I'm sure there are probably others; I just haven't had the pleasure of using them as of yet. So, in conclusion, as a FreeBSD user I do not hate linux, but as a linux user I'm beginning to become frustrated with the state of distributions. Does that answer the question?
  • by aeakett ( 561176 ) on Friday November 08, 2002 @10:11AM (#4624751) Homepage Journal
    Believe it or not, not all /.ers are linux bigots. Or even free software bigots. Nvidia is a big company that should have it's sh*t together enough no to make mistakes like this. They should probably realize that the may have a hard enough time selling their (I assume) binary only drivers to the FreeBSD crowd, without alienating them with this slip-up.

    That said, free software proponents shouldn't pan Nvidia for distributing binary only drivers. They are in a competative field, and need to protect their IP (oh, I can see the flames coming now). The fact that they are supporting a free operating system at all (especially one with a relativly small installation base), is cause for celebration.
  • Linux drivers... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dubious9 ( 580994 ) on Friday November 08, 2002 @10:46AM (#4625029) Journal
    While I'm glad that Nvidia is broadening their base, I can't wonder if more people wouldn't benefit from new drivers for the new releases from Red Hat and Mandrake.

    I know the rpms don't work for either (8.2 under Mandrake 9.0 and 7.3 under RedHat 8.0) so as far as I can tell, you need to compile the source to get the driver working.

    This however requires configured kernel source and if you don't have that for your current kernel i.e. you never installed the src rpm, you'll have to install, configure, compile the kernel, then compile the NVidia drivers then edit the XF86Config file to change the driver string!

    Come on Nvidia, can't we have an automated driver? Please? Pretty please?
  • by aeakett ( 561176 ) on Friday November 08, 2002 @10:49AM (#4625052) Homepage Journal
    This is fair. I didn't mean to mis-represent the BSD crowd... they're a fine bunch of people on the whole. In retrospect I was thinking more of GPL people (now the GPL folks will be coming after me... great!).
  • Re:Petition (Score:2, Insightful)

    by DrunkenPenguin ( 553473 ) on Friday November 08, 2002 @11:51AM (#4625498) Homepage
    Yes, the petition seemed to work and that's really great! But it's not over yet.. We - I'm talking about Linux & *BSD users & Mac users - should join our forces and start yet another petition, but this time WE WANT SOURCE CODE OF THE DRIVERS! Everyone would benefit!
  • Not only games! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by WanderingGhost ( 535445 ) on Friday November 08, 2002 @12:52PM (#4626004)
    You may want accelerated video drivers for things other than games, like:
    • Visualization of scientific data (protein molecules, for example);
    • Rendering of images for films;
    • Or maybe just making your ordinary applications faster (see, for example, gliv [tuxfamily.org] for an image viewer which uses OpenGL).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 08, 2002 @01:48PM (#4626443)
    Yeah, because the people writing kernel drivers for Nvidia also write the license 'agreements'. Right.
  • Common guys (Score:3, Insightful)

    by linux_warp ( 187395 ) on Friday November 08, 2002 @02:12PM (#4626663) Homepage
    For years we have been bitching about not having nvidia drivers for freebsd, and now that they have made substantial progress and released a alpha/beta all we can do is bitch that they are unfinished? Lets give them a hand, they are making progress and obviously care about their customers.
  • NetBSD (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hubertf ( 124995 ) on Friday November 08, 2002 @02:24PM (#4626772) Homepage Journal
    I'd like to see this (at least) for NetBSD too, and maybe not only for PCs.

    => Open-Source these drivers, please!

    - Hubert
  • by be-fan ( 61476 ) on Friday November 08, 2002 @04:06PM (#4627953)
    Look, FreeBSD support isn't a huge deal at NVIDIA. It's a few coders in their driver development group that are doing this with company approval. No doubt, these pages didn't go through the official "gods of marketing" over at NVIDIA. As such, give it a little time. What most likely happened was that they were pressed for time in releasing these drivers, and so they just made some hastly pages to put it up. What matters is the actual code, and once that's working nicely, I'm sure the page will get polished.
  • by be-fan ( 61476 ) on Friday November 08, 2002 @04:14PM (#4628060)
    The reason seems to be the FreeBSD-NVIDIA project. They did some driver porting, and were really hitting the wall, so their contacts at NVIDIA decided to just do a release. It's not that hard at all to port the NVIDIA driver to another OS. The X11 part is OS independent (like all X11 graphics drivers) and the kernel part is wrapped in a small portability layer. Most likely, they're just doing it because the effort in porting is small compared to the good faith it gets in the community, and the fact that it allows vendors using a BSD to also consider NVIDIA products.
  • Re:ATI... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by meshko ( 413657 ) on Friday November 08, 2002 @04:37PM (#4628290) Homepage
    I'm sorry, but I have to disagree. I've dealt with a number of ATI drivers on windows and I do not think that ATI is able to produce drivers for their cards better than a random guy you pick up on the street. If knowing specifications did not help them produce a single stable driver on windows, why would it help them on Linux?
  • Re:Common guys (Score:2, Insightful)

    by DeathPenguin ( 449875 ) on Friday November 08, 2002 @05:24PM (#4628714)
    Damn right. Even if the drivers are closed source, they sure beat the hell out of nothing. nVidia's doing the right thing by supporting our OS's rather than selling us short. The Radeon 9700 Pro is an impressive piece of hardware, but anybody who buys one with the intent on running accelerated apps in Linux or BSD is an idiot for not taking into consideration ATi's drivers (Or lack there of). Those who buy nVidia cards can enjoy identical performance under Windows and Linux, which is more than many other pieces of hardware can offer (Especially graphics cards).

    Give me a kernel tainted with non-GPL code over a Windows kernel any day.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 08, 2002 @07:14PM (#4629455)
    and then give the community the shaft.

    Here's the thing --

    And I wish GPL folks would get it through their heads.

    When BSD style code is released out into the community, it is done so for the good of all. Good for EVERYONE. EVEN MICROSOFT. That means, when truely free source is given out. NOTHING is wanted in return. Sometimes a little credit where it's due, sometimes not even that. It's about making computers better, making software better, and in our own little way, trying to make the world better. It's not much, but it's what some of us can offer.

    I'm not against someone making a profit, I'm not against someone coding for a living. I'm also not against the GPL and the idea that if you release code, you would like it to stay opened to the public for everyoen to always see the code.

    But some of us don't even want THAT much. We're truely, selflessly, completely, and totally fine with giving something away and wanting NOTHING in return. Some people even do nice things and don't even take credit for having done them!

    I know it's impossible for most of you to understand, but BSD is about a certain level of Freedom that is almost "too free" for the somewhat self righteous GPL crowd to understand.

Nothing ever becomes real till it is experienced -- even a proverb is no proverb to you till your life has illustrated it. -- John Keats